… a cube of sunlight

 

Black and white shot, Oriental Bay boatsheds, with St Gerald's church in the background. Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Oriental Bay boatsheds, with St Gerald’s church in the background. Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

I recently spent a long weekend in Wellington; the world’s southernmost capital city and one of my favourite happy-places.

Wellington is a small city, full of art and culture and great places to eat and drink coffee. Bounded by the sea and the hills, it works on a human scale. Everywhere is walkable, even in one of the howling gales for which Wellington is famous.

I arrived in the midst of such a storm. Throughout the flight from Auckland the captain warned that we might be in for a “bit of jostling” as our plane approached Wellington airport. He wasn’t joking.

Girls pose with the Max Patte sculpture, 'Solace in the Wind.' Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Waterfront sculpture. Max Patte, ‘Solace of the wind‘ — with admirers. Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Although the wind dropped a little over the weekend, it remained a grey and windy time — perfect for black & white photography.

Wellington street sculpture. Terry Stringer, 'Grand Head', Victoria Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016.

Wellington street art. Terry Stringer, ‘Grand Head‘, Victoria Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Sculpture on Wellington waterfront. Michael Tuffery, 'Nga Kina', sculpture at Kumutoto Wharf, Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

Michael Tuffery, ‘Nga Kina‘, sculpture at Kumutoto Wharf, Wellington waterfront. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

After the movies. Coffee and cake at kaffee eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

After the movies. Coffee and cake at kaffee eis, Cuba Street, Wellington. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

'The Beehive', NZ Parliament building, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

‘The Beehive’, NZ Parliament building, Wellington, NZ. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

Indoor sculpture. Francis Uprichard, 'Mandrake', from Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016

More sculpture indoors. Francis Upritchard, ‘Mandrake‘, from Jealous Saboteurs exhibition at Wellington City Gallery. Image: Su Leslie, 2016. Edited with Snapseed.

The title of this post comes from the Alistair Te Ariki Campbell’s poem ‘Blue Rain.’ An extract, below,Β  is included in the Wellington Writers’ Walk — a series of “typographical sculptures” placed around the city. It occurs to me that the phase “cube of sunlight” might also be applied to photography.

“Blue rain from a clear sky.
Our world a cube of sunlight –
but to the south
the violet admonition
of thunder.”

— Alistair Te Ariki Campbell. From ‘Blue Rain’ in The Dark Lord of Savaiki: Collected Poems, Hazard Press, 2003

Posted to Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge, at Lens and Pens by Sally.

 

 

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54 thoughts on “… a cube of sunlight

    • There is definitely something very appealing about boatsheds that makes us want to photograph them. I’m not sure if its the colour palette, or the location but I have seen lots of beautiful images of boatsheds.

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  1. These are gorgeous photos, Su. Almost eerie. A wonderful effect.

    We never made it to Wellington on our trip to the North Island. The boys were very young (the youngest only 3) and it just wasn’t possible to cover the whole length of the island in two weeks comfortably. We chose the Bay of Islands over Wellington. Looks like a return visit with a definite stay in Wellington may be in order one day. I’m sure the boys would love to come if I tell them there’s the head of a giant Dalek there…..

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    • Thanks Heather. I wonder if Terry Stringer has ever thought of his work as a Dalek head?
      I think you are right, trying to cover too much ground on a holiday only means you spend a lot of time travelling. Not fun — especially with kids! I can understand taking the boys to the Bay of Islands over Wellington; it’s much easier to entertain them with beaches and boat trips — and the weather is more reliable. Of course Wellington is home to Weta Workshop, and all the LOTR, etc stuff
      that goes with it.
      I definitely recommend a return visit!

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  2. Pingback: Sally D’s Mobile Photography Challenge: Black and White (and Visualization) | Lens and Pens by Sally

      • Aww – I’d have loved to see that!! πŸ™‚ so glad that scene is still anchored in the hearts of women everywhere πŸ˜€ Oh, and HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!!!! (Facebook told me πŸ˜‰ ) Wish you a very lovely and beautiful day with your family! πŸ™‚ Much love, Sarah xxxxxxxxxx ❀

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      • Oh! These are amazing presents!! I’m sure you’ll have lots of fun doing them, especially the one with glass art, I remember you telling me how much you’d like to do that πŸ˜€ Please make sure to shoot as many pictures as possible and share them with us afterwards πŸ™‚ You too have a perfect weekend dear! πŸ™‚ xxxxx ❀

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      • Thank you so much. I’m really eco cited about learning glass art. The focus is on slumping and fusing, which is good — I really don’t think I’m ready to blow glass. I’ll try and take lots of photos. Happy weekend my friend xxxx

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      • Wow! Really canΒ΄t wait to hear more about it!! πŸ™‚ I would love to do that too one day! But IΒ΄m also not sure about the blowing part, I think one would need quite a lot of breath to do that, and IΒ΄m so tiny, I might not even make a little bubble πŸ˜‰ Have a very beautiful sunday, my dear friend! xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ❀

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      • πŸ˜ƒπŸ˜ƒ you would think that it takes a lot of air to blow glass, but I have a friend who is quite tiny, and a few years older than me who has tried it. She found holding the glass on the blowing thing quite hard on her arms, but managed to blow the glass quite well. Perhaps one day. Happy Sunday dear friend xx

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      • As much as I dislike a rainy week itΒ΄s certainly very good for being creative indoors πŸ˜‰ Have a great time, Su! My head is full of possible outcomes of your lovely project… CanΒ΄t wait to see it!! πŸ™‚ xxxxx

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      • I know the feeling πŸ˜‰ But don’t worry, I’m sure you’ll do great! There’s no right or wrong when it comes to art. And if you shouldn’t be satisfied with the result, you simply give it another go until you are – that’s how I’m doing it πŸ˜‰ xxxxx πŸ’š

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      • That’s good advice Sarah. I’m such a perfectionist, and my friend Claire (artist and “Little Wing” author) once said that instead of worrying about “not getting it right” and focusing on a whole piece, I should look for something I do like in the work — maybe a small part of it, or the way the colours work perhaps — and focus on that. It’s not only that it allows me to be more positive, but helps me find the techniques, forms, colours, whatever, that really work for me. I think about that advice often, and try to remember it when I’m working. xxxx πŸ™‚

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      • Your friend ClaireΒ΄s very wise indeed!! ThatΒ΄s a fabulous advice, and definitely how it works best. If I look at the things IΒ΄ve already done, I do see many mistakes I probably wouldnΒ΄t make anymore, but I always concentrate on the things I still like about it or on the feeling I had when I finished it πŸ˜‰ Being artistic is a never ending process and making mistakes is just a natural part of it that weΒ΄ve got to accept. But as they say, we can only learn from these mistakes πŸ˜‰
        And I know how it is to be burdened with this need to do everything perfectly πŸ˜‰ It can be very troublesome at times, but then it also makes us strive to make greater things! Have a very lovely day, and just enjoy the process of being creative, Su! πŸ™‚ xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx ❀

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  3. Me too; though it’s sited in a weird place on a street corner surrounded by trees and on a very tall plinth. It’s quite hard to see properly and I couldn’t really capture the way it’s not a “normal” head — but more like a Picasso painting. I read that the council has been criticised for putting it there, so hopefully it might be moved somewhere it can be enjoyed more.

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